[-empyre-] [-empyre-} Reflections on Cross-domain collaboration

Jon Winet jon.winet at gmail.com
Tue May 8 09:03:54 EST 2012

Cherry-picking Anne's comments and dark observations with some of my own ...

On Mon, May 7, 2012 at 3:02 PM, Anne Balsamo <annebalsamo at gmail.com> wrote:
> Thanks Mark for kicking up the dust!
> Some comments and dark observations follow:
> On 5/5/12 1:14 PM, "Mark Stephen Meadows" <mark at markmeadows.com> wrote:

>> you are what you search, right?
> Yes and no.  What gets reflected back (based on the gleanings of my digital
> wanderings) is a reflection in a cracked mirror.  I still believe it to be a
> case of garbage in = garbage out.  Do I feel important, understood or
> recognized when the sidebars on my search or FB page reflect back to me my
> recent digital preoccupations: horses, dating sites for women over 50,
> non-prescription sleeping aids?  Does anyone even pay attention to that
> slice of digital wall paper?  Image saturation and obsessive repetition
> makes me inured to the message.
> I built a prototype of a reverse oracle:  When you enter a technology-based
> search term, what gets "returned" is not results & instances of usage in
> random contexts, but rather questions.
> I am my questions, not my search terms. SIRI notwithstanding, this may be my
> last defense against the singularity.

Apparently I'm quote-happy in this convo. Zeroing in on your final
statement, quoting the February 14, 2011 NYTimes article* quoting John
Seely Brown, brought front and center into the mainstream conversation
during the Jeopardy match of the millennium, regarding Watson, a form
of UI far more transparent than Google's quasi-mystical search

"Indeed, for the computer scientist John Seely Brown, machines that
are facile at answering questions only serve to obscure what remains
fundamentally human.

'The essence of being human involves asking questions, not answering
them,' he said."

I'm pretty sure I can hold onto that ray of hiope as well, as it
certainly also identifies the heart and soul of avant garde creative
practice, to operate and experiment working outside of the narrow
angle of too much of quotidian experience.

* "A Fight to Win the Future: Computers vs. Humans"
By John Markoff

[major snip]

> Repression is a pain-management technique.

Amen to that, sister! - And a tried and true technique as old as
civilization itself if Dr. Freud had it right ...

> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
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